London is the social hub of photography with so many museums, companies and individuals celebrating this art form. So, to make things a little easier for you not to miss the highlights this season we’ve put together a list of five must-see exhibitions that are sure to inspire you…
Fox Talbot: Dawn of the Photograph
Where: The Science Museum, London
When: Until 11 September 2016
This exhibition is focused on William Henry Fox Talbot, the polymath and pioneer of Victorian photography. Said to be one of the world’s most comprehensive and important collections of his work, the exhibition explores his invention of the negative-positive process – the technique that formed the basis of photography and named him the ‘father of the photograph’. You can also see original prints from his publication The Pencil of Nature as well as the oldest surviving daguerreotypes (a unique image on a slivered copper plate).
Dorothy Bohm: 60s London
Where: Jewish Museum, London
When: Until 29 August 2016
Sent to the UK by her parents to escape the threat of Nazism, Dorothy Bohm – born in Russia – was armed only with a Leica camera from her father. She has spent her life behind the camera working all over the world, and London has been her home since the 1950s. This exhibition celebrates her photography from the streets of 60s London, with its inhabitants from all walks of life captured in ordinary moments. Bohm was closely involved in the founding of the Photographers’ Gallery in 1971 and was its associate director for 15 years.
Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century
Where: V&A, London
When: Until 3 July 2016
You’ll have to be quick to catch this exhibition before it ends but it’s definitely worth seeing. Paul Strand is considered one of the greatest and most influential photographers of the 20th century whose work has defined the way documentary photography is understood and practiced today. The exhibition at the V&A looks at around 200 objects of his work spanning his career until his death in 1976. You will see close-ups of naturals and machine forms, candid street portraits, abstraction and explorations of countries all over the world.
Steve Schapiro: Heroes
Where: Atlas Gallery, London
When: Until 20 August 2016
This exhibition looks at the iconic photography of New York-born Steve Schapiro who is known for his photographs of key moments of the Civil Rights Movement. In the 70s he turned his attention to movie stills and captured a whole new audience with his work on The Godfather and Taxi Driver. The collection, named Heroes, spans his entire career as a photojournalist with an emphasis on his work with David Bowie, including the album cover for Low and shots from Bowie’s film The Man Who Fell to Earth.
Images of the anti-nuclear protest movement in 1980s Britain
Where: Imperial War Museum, Kennington
When: Until 4 September 2016
Documentary and portrait photographer Edward Barber has an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum from the 80s anti-nuclear movement. His collection pinpoints a moment in the history of protest in this country. A man in Hyde Park with a paper bag on his head with instructions on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack, women with placards saying ‘Take the toys away from the boys’ and the striking image of 30,000 women who formed a nine-mile human chain around Greenham in 1982. A powerful exhibition that gives a snapshot of British history.
As well as photography exhibitions to pique your interest, there are also entire museums dedicated to this art form - our UK museum post gives you some ideas of where you may want to day trip to this summer to find inspiration for your next customised canvas print.